new-zealand
Currency: New Zealand Dollar (AUD)
Language: English
Capital: Wellington
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +12
Population: 4,000,000
VISA: Most countries require no VISA for stay less than 3 months. British citizens no VISA for less than 6 months.

Both islands offer action, adventure and beautiful scenery. Be swept away by the snow topped mountains and sky blue lakes on the south island and the greenery and vastness of the north. This stunning country is usually overshadowed as a destination by its nearby neighbour despite New Zealand offering so much. Use this New Zealand travel guide to plan your next visit.

Must see and do

Milford Sounds is located on the southern tip of the south island. They are actually a series of land formations known as fiords. After the stunning alpine drive, you will be amazed by the tranquillity and beauty of the Milford Sounds. There a numerous activities on offer including boat trips, kayaking, diving, hiking and scenic flights. This is a definite must for a trip to New Zealand.

Queenstown – Nevis Highwire is the highest bungee in New Zealand. If you can pluck up the courage, this 134m (440ft) AJ Hackett bungee is definitely worth boasting to your friends about when you get back home. There are numerous other bungee sites all over New Zealand. I also recommend the jumps at Taupo and Auckland for good background scenery to your jump.

Waitomo Caves are an underground labyrinth of caves in the north west corner of the north island. Guided tours take place in the caves of varying lengths and difficulty. You can abseiling into chasms, tour the stalactites and mites, view the glow worms or go black water rafting. Watch out for offers to do multiple activities at a discount price.

Rotorua Rapids is arguably the best place to do white water rafting. Accessible from Rotorua you can be picked up and taken to the rapids. The rafting lasts for roughly 20 minutes and you get training before taking to the water. Be prepared to get wet when you plunge down the 7m waterfall.

Tongariro Crossing is rated one of the top ten hikes in the world. The scenery is dramatic but the weather can unpredictably. This adventure is 18.5km so you need to be fit and arrange transport to and from the crossing. Summit climbs are optional. Located 30 minutes from Taupo, North Island.

Mount Cook is the highest peak in New Zealand. It is a drive out to the mountain from Lake Tekapo and has plenty of hikes of varying difficulty around the base. There are options for climbing for more experienced mountaineers.

Whale Watching at Kaikoura offers a chance to get up close to Sperm Whales. The boat takes you out beyond the ocean shelf to the whales’ diving ground. Again, set in front of an amazing backdrop and it is a good chance to see wild dolphins. The sea can get rough so check the weather reports before heading to see the whales.

Glacier Trekking can be done at either the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier on the south island. The lengths of the treks can vary from a whole day down to a couple of hours. The shorter treks take you onto the snout of the glacier while the longer treks take you increasingly further up. You can opt to be dropped of near the top of the glaciers and make your way down within the day. It is a unique opportunity and definitely something that will stick in your mind for a long time. You do need to be fit as it can be challenging and slippery. Spikes and water proofs are provided.

The Luge at Rotorua (north island) is a cheap activity just outside the main town but accessible by bus. Tear down the mountain side and race against your friends on three different courses of varying difficulty. Food and drinks are available on site.

Money Savers

Coming soon

Weather

Being a small island in the south pacific means the weather can be unpredictable and can change very quickly. The warmest months are December through to March with temperatures up between 25 – 30 degrees Celsius. The south island is normally cooler and wetter than the north and expect a windy time in Wellington all year round. As New Zealand is actively tectonic, be prepared of what to do in case of earthquakes.

Transport

Coming soon

Food

Coming soon

Vaccinations

Disease Required? See doctor
Tuberculosis sometimes 3 months before travel
Hepatitus B sometimes 2 months before travel

Festivals

Waitangi Day is celebrated on 6th February each year to celebrate New Zealand becoming part of the British Empire, and it guaranteed Maori equal rights as the British citizens. On the day the navy raises a flag and people celebrate with cultural dances and songs and church services. Rotorua holds Maori cultural experiences of song, dance and cuisine regularly on the North Island.

In addition, Auckland and Wellington hold the New Zealand International Comedy Festival in May.

Hostels

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